Jillian’s Spinning: Woolen, Worsted and Woolen-N-Worsted

Last week I accidentally plied a woolen singles and a worsted singles together, making woolen-n-worsted 2-ply instead of a woolen or worsted 2-ply.

I spun more singles and plied woolen to woolen and worsted to worsted and knit all of them into swatches.

Here are close ups of the woolen 2-ply and worsted 2-ply – they are both Corriedale.

Woolen 2-ply left and worsted 2-ply right.
Woolen 2-ply left and worsted 2-ply right.

As I’d expect woolen is fuzzier and worsted is smoother. The worsted stitches look crisper too.

Here is the woolen-n-worsted swatch:

woolenNworsted swatch
woolen-n-worsted swatch

Smooth-ish and the stitches are a little squirrelier than a worsted. Here’s a closer look:

woolenNworsted closer
woolen-n-worsted closer

I can see the two different plies in this one, especially in the garter stitch at the top and bottom. It’s interesting too, that this swatch is heavier than the woolen swatch but not as heavy as the worsted swatch. It hits the middle in all things. There is nothing wrong with this yarn, I would use it for any project, I would even sneak it in with a wholly woolen or worsted project, but probably around the edges.

Can you see the difference? Would you knit with it?

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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

6 thoughts on “Jillian’s Spinning: Woolen, Worsted and Woolen-N-Worsted

  1. Pingback: Jillian’s Spinning: Woolen, Worsted and Woolen-N-Worsted | Yarn Buyer

  2. Bekah

    I sure would! Of course, I’m up for trying almost anything, and am a firm believer that every yarn is the right one for some purpose. I have knit with jewelry wire and with hemp string and crocheted using yarn made from plastic grocery bags. I even knit my husband a cabled sweater out of Red Heart acrylic. That one was sort of an early-in-the-career-of-a-knitter mistake, but it is *really* nice and warm in his frigid office, in Winter.

    I will knit with anything. I think. So, I’d just try to figure out what it is that this yarn would be really, really good at 🙂

  3. Heather

    I can see the difference in the swatches not sure how much it would matter in the average everyday project to me.Could you spin enough for sweaters in each and I would be happy to test it out for you? lol The yarns are nice they just need the right project for each one. I am sure there are plenty on Knitty let the browsing begin.

  4. Loretta

    I was wondering just how much difference you would see after a couple of washes.
    The real difference as far as I am concerned is the weight difference. If I was spinning for a whole garment that would be more of an influence in my crafting decision.

  5. Karen

    Many years ago, I attended a knitting class taught by Lizbeth Upitis re: her book Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs & Techniques. I thought she said the traditional yarn was from Finland, a 2 ply where one single was woolen and the other worsted. I think the idea was to combine the strength of worsted to make the mittens more hard wearing (which the 2+ color stranded knitting would do also) and increase the the insulation warmth from the woolen ply.

    Now this is from memory and I was not a spinner back then, so I could we totally wrong about this. But it was clever enough for me to remember the idea at least.

    The yarn is called Satakieli and the older Satakieli in my stash is different from the newer stuff. I should find the old stuff and look more carefully at the construction of it. Sadly I am 700+ miles away from my stash at this time.

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